FAQs

Can a foreign spouse apply for a tourist visa instead of an immigrant visa?

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Yes. In order for a tourist visa to be issued, however, the United States embassy or consulate officer must be convinced that the foreign spouse intends to return to their country after the visit to the United States. The pending immigrant visa application indicates that the foreign spouse intends to live permanently in the United States. Thus, the foreign spouse must prove that although s/he intends to live permanently in the United States, s/he will return to their home country after the visit. Since this is difficult to prove, it is likely that the United States embassy or consulate officer will deny the application for a tourist visa.

If the tourist visa is approved; the foreign spouse enters the United States; and files an application for permanent residence (‘green card’), the USCIS could conclude that the foreign spouse committed visa fraud in obtaining and using a tourist visa to enter the United States to file an application for permanent residence (‘green card’). In such a case, the application for permanent residence (‘green card’) would be denied and the foreign spouse removed to their home country.